The most-tweeted events on record

This weekend, Andy Murray finally ended what was considered one of the most difficult sports droughts in history: After 77 years, a British man finally brought the Wimbledon trophy home.

Of course, the moment also sparked some big reaction on social media — particularly on Twitter, where it generated thousands of tweets every minute. Murray’s win was one of the most-tweeted events yet, according to Twitter UK.

Twitter started keeping an eye on the tweets-per-minute metric after switching from tweets per second — a Japanese broadcast of Studio Ghibli film La Puta: Castle in the Sky in December of 2011 hit 25,088 TPS. That record was recently defeated by  New Year’s Day for Japan and South Korea, which made it to 33,388 tweets per second

Here’s a list of the five events (in descending order) that have generated the most tweets per minute, according to Twitter and other news reports: 

5. Spice Girls Reunion

The biggest highlight of the 2012 London Olympics actually wasn’t any of the amazing feats of the world-class athletes competing for gold metals. It was actually the reappearance of the Spice Girls.

The reunion performance of the Spice Girls in August of last year, where they sang a medley of their greatest hits, was not only the most tweeted about conversation of the Olympics, it also set a record at 116,000 tweets per minute. It handily beat out the most-talked-about sports-related moment of the Games, Usain Bolt’s gold medal run of the 200m sprint (which amassed roughly 88,000 tweets per minute).

A footnote: Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham contributed to Andy Murray breaking her record, sending off a tweet congratulating Murray’s win that received more than 4,500 retweets.

4. Andy Murray’s Drought-Breaking Win

Murray’s star performance in straight sets against the top-seeded Novak Djokovic amassed 120,000 tweets per minute. In addition to the chatter surrounding his win, Murray’s own tweet about the event also went viral:

His tweet was shared rabidly by fans, reaching 77,000 retweets within the first hour, according to Twitter UK. The event continues to be a record-breaker for British sports, and after the match Murray gained a hefty 131,000 new Twitter followers.

3. The New Pope Reigns Supreme

It’s no surprise that the recent installment of one of the most important religious figures in the world moved the needle on Twitter, but the introduction of Pope Francis swelled up to a record-level 132,000 tweets per minute.

In addition to seeing a large reaction from America, Twitter users from Argentina, Spain and many countries in South America voiced their praise for the new Pope, who took over after Pope Benedict XVI  stepped down.

Pope Francis’s rise has also brought a more active Twitter presence from that office. Pope Francis (or someone deputized to send out tweets for the @Pontifex account, which scrubbed all of the former pope’s tweets) has amassed 2 million followers since March, and has been tweeting nearly every day.

2. Spain’s Euro 2012 Win

What remains the biggest sports moment in the history of Twitter is a bombastic fourth goal by Spain in a shutout against Italy for the Euro 2012 cup. At the moment of the goal, users fired off an amazing 15,000 tweets-per-second, shooting the entire event up to an amazing 267,200 tweets per minute.

The final match entertained had more than 6.5 million Tweets, including 13 from President Barack Obama, one from soccer legend Pelé, and a photo tweeted by Spain’s midfielder Andres Iniesta that showed him kissing his country’s new, beloved cup:

1. Barack Obama’s Re-election

The public kept its eyes glued to the television and its fingers on Twitter on election night, as a race long projected to be a nail-biter between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney turned into a resounding win for the incumbent president. While the entirety of November swelled with election-related Tweets, the night of Nov. 6 ballooned to an amazing 327,452 tweets per minute as the final moments of the election wound up.

The following Barack Obama tweet hit Twitter as he delivered his on-air acceptance speech:

The tweet, released at 8:16pm EST the night of the election, has taken its place as the President’s most retweeted post ever, amassing nearly 800,000 retweets (and nearly 300,000 favorites.) It holds the top spot for the most tweets-per-minute, crushing its nearest competition by nearly 100,000.